Friday, July 20, 2007

The Art of Drag - at Fresh Fruit Fest

On Wednesday, July 11, I curated a special Performance Art showcase exhibiting the special entertainment, portrayal and expression of Drag Queens. The night was called The Art of Drag and was a gala evening of The Fresh Fruit Festival, held at the prestigious and historic Cherry Lane Theater in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. I evening was complete success with every seat in the house sold! When someone is born Male, the privileged, strong and fearless Gender, and he has a female spirit inside that needs to be expressed, he creates a Drag Queen persona. The results can vary from Comedy to Tragedy, but either way, it is most often great Theater and lots of fun. I created a showing of different kinds of Drag Queen performers with different types of Drag expression with different ways and reasons for doing Drag.

The hosts of the show were Jacqueline Jonee, the elegant, concert pianist and Cabaret Diva along with Millie Shayntwrite, host of Lavender Vaudeville. The two of them as hostesses complemented each other beautifully with Jacqueline being very classy and Millie being very sassy! The first performance was The Church Ladies for Choice, and they were thrilled to be making their off-Broadway debut. They usually perform in the streets at protests and rallies, using Drag to make Political statements for LGBT rights and Women’s Pro Choice rights. After that Maria Casta Diva demonstrated her vocal skills as she sang live Opera arias. Then performance artist/dancer/choreographer Agnes DeGarron, Radical Faerie Legend and original founder of the nun order Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, did a fabulous act combining dance, art and some comedy. The outrageous Zondra Fox performed a shocking piece using sequins and hairspray. Petit Versailles, a downtown art group that uses Drag to invoke nature and Earth Mother spirits in community gardens on the Lower East Side closed the show with a marvelous avante guard dance movement ensemble. They charmed the audience with poetry and synchronized movements like little faeries.

Those who attended the event included Joe Jeffreys (NYU Historical Archives, Drag Video Verte af Lincoln Center), Veronica Vera (Head Mistress of Miss Vera’s Finishing School and author of Cross Dress for Success), Mariette Pathy-Allen (Photographer of Transgender, photo book Transformations), Fernando Espinosa (Photographer, photo book Aphrodisiac), Larry Vrba (Drag Queen / Costume jewelry designer), Madelyn Madalaine (Vice President, Cross Dressers International), Randy Wicker (Randy Wicker Reporting), David Finkelstein (Lake Ivan Performance Group), and others.

Photos Courtesy Fernando Espinosa Chauvin Photography